New lease of life for ex-Jarrow health centre

NEW LEASE 'OF LIFE ... Balgownie House, a former health centre 'and dental surgery in Bede Burn Road, Jarrow.
NEW LEASE 'OF LIFE ... Balgownie House, a former health centre 'and dental surgery in Bede Burn Road, Jarrow.

A historic South Tyneside building is to be given a new lease of life.

Balgownie House in Jarrow was built in 1875 for surgeon Frederick O’Neil.

It was later known to generations of Jarrovians as a dental surgery and health centre.

The Bede Burn Road building has been closed for several years, however, and is now in a poor state of repair.

A few years ago, the conservation charity Save Britain’s Heritage included it in its catalogue of buildings at risk.

Now, approval has been given for its conversion into four separate houses, including Balgownie House itself and a new building to be attached.

Balcony

The application also incorporates a kitchen extension, new sky lights, chimney stacks, solar panels and a first-floor balcony.

The design approved includes a detached garage block and vehicle access from Bede Burn Road.

Applicant Rob Falconer is appealing against conditions being demanded by South Tyneside Council planners, but he told the Gazette he hopes work will still start on the conversion “as soon as possible”.

Balgownie House’s renewal forms a contrast to the fate of another historic building in Bede Burn Road.

The now-vacant Henry Studdy House, a former police headquarters, is to be demolished to make way for an eight-apartment block, all offering two bedrooms.

The decision to flatten it was made despite objections from residents concerned about the loss of an attractive building.

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